Minnesota United will donate a portion of season ticket purchases for its first season of Major League Soccer to support the Department of Natural Resources' loon monitoring efforts.
The partnership wth the DNR is part of the team's Itasca Society, a program made up of the first 11,842 season ticket holders— one for every lake in Minnesota. The society offers exclusive perks and opportunities for those who buy season ticket holders before the MLS season begins next year.
The team, commonly referred to as the Loons, includes the state bird in its logo. Until it builds a new stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota United will play home matches at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.
"Supporting our state parks and iconic wildlife in Minnesota is something our organization is passionate about,'' United President Nick Rogers said in a news release. "These values are reflected in what the DNR does on a daily basis."
As part of the partnership, a portion of Itasca Society members' season ticket purchases will go to the DNR to support its loon monitoring program, now in its 23 year. Additionally, all inaugural season ticket holder accounts will receive a complimentary Minnesota State Parks day pass.
The program is popular with volunteers who assist with loon monitoring. Minnesota United's support will be used to expand loon surveys to lakes throughout Minnesota where there are currently no active volunteers. The contribution will also enhance the DNR's analysis of the survey data being collected.
"We are excited about our partnership with Minnesota United and grateful to the team for their generous support of our Loon Monitoring Program," DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a news release.